Stephen McDaniel's Lawyers Challenge Evidence, Statements in Lauren Giddings Case

6:00 PM, May 31, 2013   |    comments
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Stephen McDaniel in court

Lawyers for Stephen McDaniel have filed motions seeking to throw out much of the evidence in his two-year-old murder case.

McDaniel, a former Mercer law student, is accused of killing classmate Lauren Giddings in June 2011.

He is scheduled for trial in September in Bibb County Superior Court.

Thursday his attorneys filed 15 motions in the case.

Many of them say McDaniel's statements or property taken from his apartment or his car should not be used in his trial.

For example, one motion claims McDaniel was interrogated for six hours straight on June 30, 2011, "repeatedly accused of murder, verbally accosted (and) threatened by police."

That all happened before Macon officers read him his rights,  the motion says.

His lawyers say McDaniel's' statements to police should be thrown out.

Other motions ask to throw out ponchos found in McDaniel's car, rope, a  flash drive and other items he bought at a Wal Mart, and scissors, bleach and latex gloves he purchased at Kroger.

The motions say the evidence was irrelevant or was not obtained properly.

Several other motions say that search warrants signed by Judge Edgar Ennis should be tossed.

Ennis agreed to let another judge handle the trial, the motion says, because McDaniel worked as a clerk for Ennis during law school.

Defense lawyers Franklin Hogue and Floyd Buford argue that Ennis shouldn't have approved those search warrants for that same reason.

Hogue and Buford also want a judge to throw out any testimony about DNA evidence found on Giddings' underwear. An FBI analyst found that McDaniel "cannot be excluded" as the person responsible for that DNA.

The defense lawyers say that's too vague and inconclusive and that jurors are likely to be "mesmerized" by talk of DNA evidence.

Finally, the lawyers are also challenging McDaniel's indictment claiming it's not specific enough about where and when Giddings' killing took place.

Prosecutors have not yet responded to the motions filed Thursday.

District Attorney David Cooke said Friday motions like these are standard procedure in a murder case and and he doesn't expect them to delay the September trial date.

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